24 October 2009

BLUE (Dir. Anthony D’Souza, 2009, India) – ‘They call me Khiladi?!’

Does the human race have it within them to be subjected to the verbal and visual pantomime afflicted atrocities of yet another prosaic film starring the narcissistic superstar ego of Akshay Kumar? Commonly or should I rephrase that by saying affectionately known as ‘Khiladi’ to his brain dead fans (which means ‘player’), Akshay Kumar is supposedly the super hip, super swish international film star playboy who appeals to both the NRI market and indigenous domestic masses. Unlike his contemporary equivalents, Akshay has still yet to and probably never will make a film of any substantial, artistic value. Some absurdist, deluded critics like to compare him to both Rajesh Khanna and Shammi Kapoor when in truth Akshay Kumar is just a glorified film celebrity who considers himself somewhat of a retired stunt man for hire. A week doesn’t pass by without a wave of bland, predictable and banal high concept Indian films making their terrible presence felt at the UK box office. I really don’t know what compelled me to actually pay to watch the new absurdist Akshay blockbuster inventively titled ‘Blue’ other than a gargantuan marketing blitz and perhaps the notion that bad cinema can inadvertently help fortify the soul.

Pitched superficially as ‘Jaws’ meets ‘The Deep’, ‘Blue’ manifests some of the worst aspects of contemporary popular Indian cinema. However, popularity does not equate to quality when it comes to mainstream cinema and a product like ‘Blue’ may not even be a film as the banality in terms of hyper kinetic editing, hyperbolic performances, over emphasised glitzy locations and freeze frame moments point to the cannibalized aesthetics of a well orchestrated film trailer. I emerged from the viewing experience suffering from a cinematic crisis as I knew I couldn't justify this one as either a ‘guilty pleasure’ or ‘disposable trash’; neither can one classify it as an entertaining B movie and offer some sort of closure to the matter. Aside from featuring some of the clumsiest continuity errors you are likely to come across in an A list feature film, ‘Blue’ is such a lazy and cynical exercise in commercial cinema that it ends up being quite regressive. This is a film that left me speechless but sadly for all the wrong reasons. I fully sympathise that the industry depends on the ugly commercial necessity of tent pole pictures and event films but do they really have to be this insulting and self indulgent?

3 comments:

  1. Haha, Didn't expect this movie to come after a Masaki Kobayashi. So I think I am safe in assuming that this one isn't going to make it to your top 10 of the decade!

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  2. I made the safe choice of keeping my sanctity intact by not watching Blue; not that I ever wanted to watch it in first place. But thankfully you watched it, cos your hilarious thrashing of the movie really made my day ;)

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  3. Oh no, reports are coming through that Akshay and co are planning a sequel to 'Blue'?! I am only prepared to watch this next one if The Khiladi is eaten alive by demonic Piranha fish whilst performing some strange acrobatic underwater 'thrill' (which would be kind of impossible). In regards to 'thrills', the 1998 mushy 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' bizzarely credits Shah Rukh Khan with the following:

    Stunts
    Shahrukh Khan .... stunt director: thrills
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172684/fullcredits

    Either this is just plainly narcissistic or a clever postmodern joke; I'm going with the 'I love myself too much' syndrome that is currently plaguing popular Indian cinema.

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